Preliminary Efficacy of a Cognitive Restructuring Intervention for Intimate Partner Aggression: Emotional Clarity as a Mechanism of Change

Julia F. Hammett, Weiqi Chen, Cynthia A. Stappenbeck, Kelly Cue Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the fact that intimate partner aggression (IPA) is a widespread public health problem, empirically supported interventions for IPA are limited. Furthermore, existing interventions tend to be resource-intensive and may not adequately address the risk factors that serve to maintain IPA, resulting in challenges to intervention dissemination and implementation. Based on theoretical and empirical findings linking emotional clarity and IPA, this study represents a secondary data analysis to evaluate the preliminary efficacy of a brief web-based cognitive restructuring (CR) intervention to reduce psychological and physical IPA perpetration intentions by increasing emotional clarity skills. In all, 137 men were randomized into a CR intervention versus control condition and subsequently completed an aggression analog scenario. Results of structural equation modeling analyses showed a significant indirect effect of the intervention on psychological IPA intentions via increased emotional clarity. Specifically, men in the CR intervention condition evidenced greater emotional clarity as compared to men in the control condition, which, in turn, was related to lower intentions to perpetrate psychological IPA. The indirect effect from the CR intervention to physical IPA intentions via emotional clarity was not statistically significant. These findings provide promising initial support for the usefulness of the current CR intervention in reducing psychological IPA. Next steps in this line of research include expansion to a randomized controlled trial that tests intervention effects on real-world IPA perpetration across more diverse samples. Importantly, our findings highlight that CR skills can be delivered via a brief web-based intervention, which decreases potential barriers to dissemination and implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of interpersonal violence
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • intervention/treatment
  • predicting domestic violence
  • violent offenders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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